Team Sky has named its provisional line-up for September’s Tour of Britain, where it will be led by Bradley Wiggins, with its line-up also featuring British National Champion Geraint Thomas, who enjoyed a spell in the best young rider’s white jersey during the Tour de France earlier this month.
The six-man team is completed by Russ Downing, who this week won the fifth and final stage of the Tour de Wallonie, clinching the overall victory in the process, Steve Cummings, Matt Hayman and Greg Henderson, while Chris Froome and Chris Sutton, a stage winner last year, have been named as reserves.
That means that Edvald Boasson Hagen, who last won the race last year while at Columbia-HTC, won’t be there to defend his title. Team Sky has yet to name its squad for the Vuelta, but the Tour of Britain coincides with the final week of that race, which may explain the Norwegian’s omission.
Another team to name its provisional line-up for the race is Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta, which will be led by Ed Clancy, who earlier this month succeeded Downing as National Circuit Race Champion. He will be joined by Ian Bibby, Jonathan McEvoy, James Sampson, Andy Tennant and Peter Williams, while reserves have been named as Steven Burke, Andrew Roche and the 49-year-old Malcolm Elliott.
Tour of Britain Technical Director Mick Bennet said: “We’re delighted to have Team Sky riding The Tour of Britain this year, particularly with such a strong line-up that shows they mean business for The Tour.”
“I’m sure fans in Wales will be particularly excited to see Geraint Thomas riding Stage Three into Swansea, while I know from meetings and events in Newham just how excited residents and in particular local children are at the prospect of our three Olympians” – Wiggins, Cummings and Thomas – “racing on their streets in September,” he continued. “I know Bradley can expect a lot of support during the final stage, in what is of course London’s Olympic and Paralympic Borough.”
Bennett added: “Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta too have a strong team, with several riders who stand an excellent chance of being involved in London 2012. With five domestic British teams riding The Tour this year, there will be an interesting race within a race between those squads to see who comes out on top, and Motorpoint look to have a strong squad to do that.”
The Tour of Britain starts in Rochdale on Saturday 11th September and ends on a circuit around London’s Royal Docks the following Saturday.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.